Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader and co-chair of the City Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, honored two former staffers at Brooklyn Pride Party on June 7.
Stefan Ringel and William Gerlich both served as Williams’ communications directors “and have since then made great strides in their careers,” Williams said.
Ringel currently serves as communications director for Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
Gerlich is a creative media strategist for Marathon Strategies, a New York-based communications and research firm.
“I wanted to honor pride month by honoring two people who are very close to me,” Williams said. “They have both made a positive impact on my life, and I am happy for the opportunity to celebrate their work and achievements.”
William said Brooklyn Community Pride “provides a special opportunity to celebrate the history and contributions of people in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.”
The kickoff will feature an oral history project presented by Brooklyn Community Pride Center, an exhibition by photographer and fashion blogger Gabrielle Royal and art by Elise Peebles.
“As Pride kicked off in New York City, I couldn’t be more honored to receive this incredible distinction,” Gerlich said. “As a gay man in America, I am grateful for what our LGBT elders have accomplished, and appreciate the opportunity to build on them so that all people are granted the freedom, rights and dignity that they deserve.”
“I’m honored — and humbled — to be recognized by Council Member Williams, a man I’m proud to call my close friend and partner in public service,” Ringel said. “I accept this proclamation as a product of the important work we have done and continue to do together.
“With pride in my soul, I commit to channeling this commendation into fuel that will power, the hard work to come for advancing my community forward,” he added.
Williams said “history shows hatred can’t be contained in a box.”
“In light of this weekend’s tragic events, we are reminded how hatred can manifest and affect us all,” said Williams on Monday. “Let us all work towards a more inclusive society, where no one has to fear for their life because of who they are.”